Ryan Payne, Owner/Funeral Director
Ryan Payne, a Rogers County native, started working for the Smith’s washing cars and doing yard work. The Catoosa High School graduate worked summers while he was earning a Bachelor's of Mortuary Science at the University of Central Oklahoma. He is married to Brandi Girten and lives in Chelsea. They have three daughters. He is the son of Charlie and Betty Payne of Claremore and Sharon and Jack Sappington of Chelsea. He is a member of the Claremore, Chelsea, and Inola Chamber of Commerce and attends the First United Methodist Church in Claremore. He is an avid hunter and fisherman.
Allen McElwain, Funeral Director
Allen McElwain joined our staff in November 2013. Allen is a lifetime Claremore resident. He graduated from Claremore High School and the University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor's in Mortuary Science. He is married to Anne McElwain and they have three sons. He is a member of First United Methodist Church in Claremore.
Roger Brent Shaffer, Funeral Director
Roger Shaffer, an Oklahoma native, has been in the funeral industry for over 40 years. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business at the University of Central Oklahoma and his mortuary science degree in Phoenix, Arizona. He is a licensed Funeral Director, Embalmer, Cremationist and is a Certified Grief Counselor. He lives in Verdigris, is married to Brittiany Price-Shaffer and has a daughter who is a Cascia Hall Graduate and senior at OSU, Stillwater. Roger is an avid hiker and outdoorsman.
William Leonard, Apprentice
Guess is a Rogers County native, living in Bushyhead the last 20 years. This eager young man started working for MMS-Payne washing the cars and helping with funerals in 2015. He is now a license Funeral Director Apprentice under Ryan and Allen. Guess is a graduate of Claremore Sequoyah High School in 2016. He was deeply involved in the Future Farmers of America through his high school career and served as the Sequoyah FFA Chapter Vice President for three years, an accomplished competitive public speaker and livestock showman as well as enjoyed playing basketball and running cross country track. Guess is currently a sophomore at Rogers State University and will transfer to the University of Central Oklahoma in the fall of 2018 pursuing a degree in Mortuary Science. Guess is the son of Wade and Sammy (Copp) Leonard of Claremore. The grandson of Johnny and Linda Leonard of Claremore, Jerry and Tracy Copp and Billie and Tom Stiedley all of Claremore. Guess is an avid Team Roper and outdoorsman.
Susan Bickford, Chelsea Funeral Home Office Manager
Susan Bickford has been the Office Manager at Chelsea Funeral Home and Crematory since 2003. She considers it a privilege to be able to help comfort grieving families. Susan graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Rogers State College. She is a wife and mother who is actively involved with her family, church and community.
Sharon Moody, Inola Funeral Home Office Manager
Sharon is a native Oklahoman and has called Claremore home for over forty years. She attended school in Tulsa. She was a former manufacturer representative in sales and marketing but now loves serving the families at MMS-Payne Funeral Homes. She joined MMS-Payne in 2014. She is married to Jack, has three sons, Brian and his wife Kim, Chris and his wife Tina and Chad and his wife Jill as well as eight grandchildren. She is a member of Claremore First Baptist Church in Claremore. Sharon loves travel, family and crafts.
Debbie (Miller) Ward, Service Assistant
Debbie is a life long Rogers County resident. She graduated from Pryor High School. She has been married for thirty years to Joel Ward, Tulsa Police officer and retired Colonel with the 45th Infantry Division of the Oklahoma National Guard.
Debbie is the mother of three boys and nana of one. She is an active member of Memorial Heights Baptist Church.
Debbie enjoys working in her yard, reading, and cooking. She loves meeting new people, and being entrusted with the care of families in need.